Dates: 20th - 23rd August 2020
Location: Brecon Beacons, Wales
Green Man is one of the bigger UK festivals; 20,000 people flock to this bucolic bubble year after year, to enjoy the fantastic line-ups, performances, cuisine, tipples, family entertainment and so much more. In the absurdly picturesque setting of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, this happy and warm event is a firm favourite with many repeat visitors.
“Croeso I Gymru” pronounce banners at the entrance to Green Man. Welcome to Wales. With a strong reputation as a friendly and welcoming affair, guests repeatedly note how immediately ensconced they feel on arrival. Sitting in his own field, looking over proceedings with a sage and watchful eye, is the Green Man himself. Over the weekend, everyone develops a very fond love for this benevolent figure; who is ceremoniously burnt at the end of the festival. This might seem sad; but you can reassure yourself that he’ll be back next year.
The festival was started fourteen years ago, and seems to go from strength to strength each year. Having created a name for itself as an ethical, non-corporate occasion, it has won multiple awards and many loyal followers. With 17 different venues and over 1,500 different performers, you can be sure that there will be plenty here to keep you entertained, all weekend long.
The main stage is called the Mountain Stage; with the glorious backdrop of the Brecon Beacons, it has a decidedly impressive ambience that enhances all the remarkable headliners you will experience. Past performers include Hot Chip, Bon Iver, Van Morrison and Robert Plant. The Walled Garden Stage is another favourite, where you can listen to much more intimate performances in yet another gorgeous setting. The Green Man Pub offers a plethora of real ales and ciders, and boasts a picnic site and DJ sets late into the night. Far Out is an area of three tents, including the Cindedrome for late night screening and Chai Wallahs, where you can find the best of live rap, hip hop, dub, reggae, blues and world music. The Rising Stage in the Fortune Falls area of the festival features new and upcoming artists.
Beyond the musical soundscape, you can find plenty more to enjoy. Einstein’s Garden offers any number of talks, performances, installations, live comedy and even walks on a superb synthesis of science, art and nature. The Babbling Tongues area is a hot spot for stand up comedy and literature; the triumph of the spoken word. The brilliantly named Somewhere area, aimed at teenagers, extends excellent activities; from circus workshops to film and music making courses.
Green Man is also famous for its family-friendly feel; though without any loss of liveliness or edge. The organisers of the event seem to place a lot of faith in the crowds to remain well-behaved; testament to that is the large ferris wheel that gives (often tipsy) punters a bird’s eye view over the scene. Children are welcome in all areas of the festival; not just the designated kid’s compound. However this is quite exceptional in itself; the Little Folk zone is packed full of exciting activities and projects for younger festivalgoers. When you feel like you need a bit of a breather and return to your more zen self; you can go to the Nature Nurture area; get into a hot tub with stunning views, do some yoga or take part in a mindfulness workshop. And for your nutrient needs; there are dozens of fantastic food vendors and stalls to cater to your every whim.
In such an exceptionally beautiful place, you would be well advised to come a few days early, to The Settlement, and make the most of your surroundings. An even more advanced approach to taking advantage of this magnificent wilderness area would be to book some luxury camping. Boutique camping at Green Man is the best possible way to enjoy what the days and nights can offer, both in and out of your heavenly, well-appointed bell tent.